Killings of people with albinism in some districts in the country have sent ripples in parts of the Northern Region, with four out of five learners with albinism from St Maria Goretti Primary School in Nkhata Bay, withdrawn.
Police stations in the North have reportedly not registered cases of attacks on people with albinism, but Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said law enforcers are working with communities to ensure crimes against people with albinism do not spill to the North.
Peter Munthali, centre-in-charge for the school for the blind, confirmed the absence of the learners was a direct aftermath of the ongoing ritual killings which have led to disappearance of nearly 100 people with albinism in Tanzania since 2000.
Said Munthali: “Some parents have raised security concerns following growing reports of killings of people with albinism on radio. It would be a big issue if the school was attacked and children went missing under our watch.”
In an interview, Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) executive director Boniface Massa said the security scare vindicates the organisation’s stand that students with albinism are safer home than at the centre.
Said Massa: “Safety of children in the area has been a concern for years because most of them come from Chintheche where they travel by boat with Tanzanian businesspeople.”
The region is considered a conduit of body parts due to its proximity to Tanzania.
President Peter Mutharika has condemned the ongoing attacks, with Police Inspector General (IG) Lexten Kachama saying police officers would “counter” violent crimes like abductions with equal force.